Generation gap

My column for today is Generation gap, and here are some links that are related. There’s a nice overview of our population history and current demographics in Wikipedia, and an overview of our latest census and where our population is headed in the government census website, and a commentary by Romulo Virola on how our population is actually aging.

In the news today, the military establishment is happy over the Commission on Human Rights declaring it is unable to link Gen. Palparan directly to political killings. The Left of course immediately denounced the findings, a knee-jerk reaction that doesn’t help clarify the issues. The CHR said they cannot pin any murders directly on Palparan; as one observer told me recently, that does not settle the question of Palparan’s command responsibility. Now since no one has ever actually accused Palparan of personally putting a gun to the head of rebels or their suspected sympathizers, obviously then, the CHR is stating what everyone’s assumed all along. And again, this does not settle the question of command responsibility. In a sort-of-related note, a show trial begins in the Hague.

The Executive Secretary says opposition to political dynasties is merely opinion, in the absence of a law. Chief Justice wants judicial rules tightened in the wake of accusations that electoral protests are decided by means of bribes. Hows this for an irony: congressmen want lifestyle checks for judges. In a related story, pork barrel spending to the tune of 200,000 peso per PC alleged.

A sobering finding: 2 out of 3 high school graduates unfit for college. On a related note, how some college students voted in mock elections.

Local political races heat up, with the biggest news being the failure of efforts to prevent a challenge by Benjie Lim to Speaker Jose de Venecia (although ex PNP chief Lomibao has been prevailed upon not to make things worse). Melandrew Velasco, who I gather is a booster for Lim, emailed me a kind of press release that makes for interesting reading:

Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin S. Lim formally informed FVR and JDV last March 19 at the RPDEV Makati office witnessed by Lakas gubernaturial hopeful Vice Gov. Oscar Lambino…negotiations between the two camps failed when a full slate was unveiled by JDV last Sunday through his friend and die-hard supporter MacArthur Samson who presented former Mayor and Immigration Commissioner Al Fernandez, businesswoman Belen Fernandez and eight other councilors. It was meant to be a show of force against Benjie Lim who was being convinced to stay put as city mayor having one more term left.

…Thanks for the three-hour dinner with PGMA two nights ago in the Palace which virtually appeased the sulking Art [Lomibao] who will soon get a plum post as Cabinet Secretary either at DPWH or DOTC (should Secretary Larry Mendoza agree to go to DILG). Should that happen, at least three former Chiefs of the national police would occupy three major departments showing more or less GMA’s dependence on the police and military in her six-year old administration.

Back to JDV, his forthcoming fight in the twilight of his political career promises to be a battle royale… [Lim] has the strategic edge down to the grassroots levels in Dagupan City, and in the towns of Manaoag, San Jacinto, Mangaldan and San Fabian. In contrast, JDV has no loyal leaders and followers except to depend on the barangay officials. .. Speaking of Pangasinan, former Executive Secretary Oscar M. Orbos, an ally of Mayor Lim, is set to stage a comeback as governor.

Iloilo City Boy has the latest on provincial politics and the opposition’s problems there.

In the punditocracy, the Inquirer editorial points out the difference between a person’s right to sue in defense of their reputation, and political harassment. The Business Mirror editorial has this to say about the President’s reputation as an economic reformer:

Of course, it was the President herself who turned her back on the fiscal rationalization bill that should have reformed the grant of fiscal incentives in the Philippines. Each year, the country loses P300 billion in forgone revenues, but Malacañang has simply lost its resolve to plug the huge hole that’s draining government coffers.

The list of policy flip-flops is endless and we fear that we might yet wake up one day realizing that the policy reforms achieved after the 1986 Edsa Revolution are gone. The irony is that we are losing these gains under a president who claims to idolize Margaret Thatcher.

John Mangun on the other hand, gives three cheers for the country. In his column, Alex Magno gives the usual talking points and provides a useful guide as to what various outcomes for the senate race might mean. Billy Esposo explains why the military’s counterinsurgency strategy is counterproductive. G. Eugene Martin, who recently testified before a US Senate committee, suggests what might lead to continued American interest in political killings -or not.

Overseas, an interesting commentary on the brewing constitutional crisis in the USA (President Bush has decided to resist congressional subpoenas Arroyo-style).

In the blogosphere, there’s a must-read, by way of personal testimony in Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas, who recounts his experiences with radical causes, their attitudes towards legal and underground political action, and his own views on why political killings are wrong and must be condemned. ExpectoRants offers up some thoughts on the Left vs. Right dynamic;

Oh, and let’s revisit something written by President Macapagal.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

7 thoughts on “Generation gap

  1. Bush explained why he would resist subpoenas –

    “if you haul somebody up in front of Congress and put them in oath and all the klieg lights and all the questioning, to me, it makes it very difficult for a President to get good advice.”

    Bush offered an alternative: some members of congress can go to the White House, interview Karl Rove and Harriet Meiers, no oath, no transcript and no kleig lights.

  2. i read your column.

    to quote: “And so, the mass culture you and I adhere to may be waning. The younger you are, the greater the chances you have tastes—in music, fashion — different from those of your peers. The era of the matinee idol — e.g., Fernando Poe Jr., or a band, like the Beatles — holding sway over millions of people is gone: There are many smaller groups — so many that no one can make it quite as big. Great political movements demand conformity—in opinion, action and commitment. But then, the younger you are, the more idiosyncratic you want to be.”

    The ability of anyone — politician, journalist, preacher — to sway others has been radically reduced. Which may not be entirely a bad thing. Or a good thing. But it explains, to my mind, why Filipinos of a certain generation — the generation that includes, incidentally, you, the Inquirer reader — can care so deeply (in a sense, labor so mightily) and share certain fundamental attitudes that half of the population may never really feel. It’s a generation gap. Different language, different styles, an entirely different worldview: One in reference to the defining event for many generations, the martial law dictatorship, can’t evoke any feelings deeper than a shrug.”

    i don’t think it has come to an end. in this nascent era of internet technologies… i think the ability of politicians, journalists, the preacher and whatnut has not been reduced. i think the potential to influence is /even greater/. just look at how steve jobs and apple and youtube and google, viral videos, podcasting, social networking and viral marketing have captivated their audiences. we want a sense of community and a place to be ourselves.

    i can not generally say this of my generation— but personally i’m not satisfied with empty promises or impressed by their high sounding words or speeches. when you hear them… they quite frankly do make sense but in reality none of these people can honestly say what they mean. i’m tired of the empty rhetoric of politicians for example. we prefer better tasting cool-aid than the one their selling, so we ain’t buying.

    i think the reason why there is a perception that the influence some people have over people is waning is that they don’t give a good enough reason for us to believe in them.

  3. Re-Generation Gap

    so if you are a reader of inquirer newspaper and watch anc, you are not that young…and the writers, tv hosts and columinsts do not sway the young generation either!

    right now newspapers companies are adopting the tabloid to target the young readers who find it more hip, cheaper and convenient. I hope too that prime time will be more cerebral instead of your daily dose of boom tarat-tarat, perfecting mendicancy and silly soap operas.

  4. One important perspective which the so called opposition group vs. the government dramtically failed to do is analyze and dissect the entire so called ‘national economy’ to burst the ballon floated by the President herself. Instead Ben Diokno made it an Erap vs. GMA report on who was more effective. Is the glass half empty or half full? In the case of the Philippines there is still no glass to speak off.

    This is from the the NSCB report on expenditure side GDP share by regions (population base) in the country. One will easily note the wide disparities between the NCR and the rest of the country.
    Expenditure share GDP Population
    NCR 37% 10.7M

    Calabarzon 12% 10.6M

    Central Luzon 8% 9.1M

    Western Visayas7% 6.8M

    Central Visayas7% 6.3M

    Total 71% 43.5M

    That would mean the balance 40m + share would be 29%

    The issue of productivity and the serious lack of it (Economic development) can clearly be seen when the areas outside the NCR share are taken into account.

    On another front the labor front – the liberties taken by the NSO in defining the term employed. It is a wonder on how the NSO gets this kind of results from a survey. Most of jobs (over 90%) created by the economy are in the so called informal sector. They are called that precisely because they are unknown. How does the unknown become a statistical reality?

    The economy is growing obviously along a very small and narrow sectoral path. Hence the vast majority are really not growing. The example given by Krugman clearly plays into this. Ten people in a bar and one is Bill Gates. The rest are working people who have seen their share of a rising economy actually not translate in wage gains. Gates comes in with his rising values of his stock options and thus the income level of the entire group rises. Wage gains in the U.S. for working people have not risen in real terms (after inflation) since 1972.

    Hence we finally reached the million person mark in overseas deployment. Proof of this narrow track is the latest Ayala business model. Consolidation of their businesses -banking, real estate and malls all targeting overseas Filipinos.

    Lifted from Habito’s column

    “Of the 1.515 million new jobs created in 2006, 1.47 million or 97 percent were services sector jobs. The industry sector gained 96,000 jobs, but here’s the challenge: agriculture actually lost 51,000 jobs. With the rural sector accounting for 70 percent of the country’s poor, this must be of great concern.”
    “Among the services sector jobs, the biggest chunk (482,000) came from wholesale and retail trade. These can range from jobs in giant shopping malls to street vendors. The numbers don’t tell us how much is which, but instinct tells me it is more of the latter. The next biggest group (309,000) of new service jobs is tagged as “private household employment”–i.e. domestics like housekeepers, family drivers, gardeners and the like. Is this a good or bad thing? Again, one can spin it positively or negatively, and I will leave that to the judgment of the reader. Other major contributors, with over 100,000 new jobs each, are real estate and business services (presumably including BPOs), hotels and restaurants, public administration (i.e. government jobs), and a catch-all “other services.” Cielito Habito, Inquirer March 19/07

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